Senator Square: A love letter to Carson High students

Editor’s Note: Written by Bridget Gordon-Johnson is a counselor at CHS

Staying connected to students, virtually, is the biggest challenge every educator is facing right now. Teachers, paraprofessionals, school counselors, administrators, school secretaries, custodians, and everyone for that matter is missing the energy and life students bring to our worlds. If you have ever traveled the halls of Carson High School during lunch, or attended a Friday night football game in October, then you know how powerful the positive energy of a group of teenagers can be.

They challenge us, as educators, to be creative, thoughtful, intentional, and joyful on a daily basis. One group of CHS seniors, led by CHS Senior Chloe Walt, was able to capture this incredible life force in video. In response to a local scholarship, entitled Reach Out, the students created a video set to the song, “Upside Down,” to represent how important it is to use different forms of engagement - for them, dance - to reach out to one another.

This truly original video by CHS Seniors is found by going to

CHS staff were so inspired by this incredible video that, after gaining official permission from Jack Johnson for use of this song, we have created our response to these students via our own Upside Down compilation video. Our video, full of images of our real lives, our pets, our families, our homes, is a love letter to our students and our community. CHS has stood together through the most difficult of tragedies over the last several years, and together, with our students, our families, and our community, we will continue to face this new “Upside Down” world together, as always #CarsonStrong.

To view the CHS Staff video, please go to

GNCU SUPPORTS CHS BLUE THUNDERE MARCHING BAND WITH DONATION Greater Nevada Credit Union has been a proud supporter and sponsor of the CHS Blue Thunder Marching Band since 2015, and recently made its annual donation of more than $2,000 to the CHS Blue Thunder Band Program.

The money is from fundraising efforts during the football and basketball games at CHS, with a matching donation from Greater Nevada Credit Union, plus the donation of T-shirts for the band members. The physical check presentation was cancelled this year because of the virus pandemic, but GNCU received the following message from the Blue Thunder Band: Thank you for your recent donation to the CHS Blue Thunder Band Program and your support of us throughout the season. Without the help of GNCU, we would not be able to do all we do. Sincerely, Bill Zabelsky, band director, and the Carson City Band Association, Inc.


FBLA participated in the State Business Leadership Conference on April 21.

“We were not able to physically go to it, but all the competitions were done virtually, and winners for the 75 plus events are announced every night for the next few weeks,” said

Adviser Angila Golik. “It started April 15 and ends May 15, and our school has 23 students participating.”

While the experience is completely different than in years past when we have attended, stayed overnight, networked, etc, the virtual conference is allowing students to still participate, compete, and attend virtual workshops put on by national quality professionals. Competing students are Sam Nichols, Carlos Torres, Clayton Bensmiller (Impromptu Speaking), Jaden Anderson, Abby Golik, Bahar Jazani, Makayla Mueller, Christafer Palacio (Client Service), Kiana Martinez, Rebecca Howard, Gloria Valdenegro (Job Interview Finalists). Finally, each night there are a list of winners announced for about 7 to 10 events. The CHS team of Walker MacKenzie, Bradley Wiggins, and Jens Robison took home 5th Place for their business plan entry, which qualifies them for the National FBLA Competition.


The Greenhouse Project will be holding a Social Distancing Plant Sale May 2 through May 9. All purchases are to be pre-ordered by phone or email only. Details for calling, emailing, and pick up are as follows: Call 775-600-9530 or 600-9552 to place a phone order May 2 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., email from May 3 through May 6 to place an email order, and Drive-thru to pick up orders May 9 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Times will be assigned for pick up. The last day to order is May 6. The Greenhouse Project has been a valued partner of the Carson City School District since 2011. Students in Agriculture Science, Plant Science, Greenhouse Management, and Special Education work in the greenhouse on a regular basis helping to plant, care for, and harvest the vegetables distributed to support Carson City's food insecure. Students also work in propagation and care for the petunia baskets that line Carson Street each year. Funds provided by The Greenhouse Project support the Capitol FFA Chapter. Thank you. Carson High School Career and Technical Education Coordinator Candi Ruf College and Career Readiness Office, Room 104 283-1636 office

Watch for full inventory to be publicized at and Facebook CCGreenhouseProject next week. A great deal of vegetable starts are available including tomatoes, peppers, squash, and cucumbers, as well as petunias and other ornamental plants. Due to COVID 19 Protocols, to protect customers and staff, there will be no Greenhouse Services as in past years. May 9th will be a pick up date only. The Greenhouse Project’s Mission is growing, giving, and teaching for a healthier, greener, sustainable Carson City. The Greenhouse Project is located behind Carson High School at 1111 North Saliman Road. At the south end of campus, at the intersection of Saliman and Robinson, head east on Robinson. Plants will be delivered to your car in the area near the NJROTC building, during your assigned pick up time.


CHS Health teacher Erin Been said, “I developed, alongside Partnership Carson City, a family engagement series to run throughout spring.” “I did host my first speaker from Health and Human Services, and it was very successful; however, with the change in the world right now, my students have been asking if we will proceed, and I said this is the reason I am reaching out to you today with a new revamped project and family engagement series” Been added. Due to the ongoing pandemic, Been decided to take her health program to the next level. “In a partnership between CHS and PCC, I am going to host a series of speakers, via Zoom video conference, a family engagement series, which promotes a variety of health topics we teach in health class, and link them to overall wellness, ultimately teaching how to maintain healthy relationships, learn about the importance of addiction and recovery in the time of a pandemic, and coping skills with mindfulness and COVID-19 ties in all presentations” she said. Been already has her first two presenters for April, and she is solidifying others for May. This is for both youth and adults as well; they do not have to attend CHS in order to participate, as this would be for anyone interested. Throughout the next couple months, Been will have presenters from both CHS and community partners and agencies like PCC, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Mindful Social, Emotional Learning with Academic Development, and others. April 27 at 6 p.m. with Terry Kern's from the Attorney General's office speaking about opioid addiction in Nevada and how to deal with COVID-19 in healthy ways in order to avoid falling back into addiction.


To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Nevada Recycles is presenting The Earth Week Waste Challenge. Join in for a week of fun challenges for the whole family by practicing the Five R’s: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot. Check out the Nevada Recycles event by going to Do not forget to send in some photos of your family completing the challenges to be featured in next month’s Nevada Recycles Community Spotlight. Find the details on the event page. Call Environmental Scientist Skylar Jones at the Solid Waste Branch, Bureau of Sustainable Materials Management Division of Environmental Protection, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, 901 S. Stewart Street, Suite 4001, Carson City, NV 89701 at or 775-687-9481.


Though counseling is best done in person, there are systems in place to support students, answer questions, and hold meetings digitally. Below are links to set up digital meetings on Google Meet or by phone. If a student makes an appointment, the student will receive a link or an invite to the Google Meet for the time of the appointment, so please check emails, and make sure to stay connected to Google Classroom for important updates. If a student did not get to meet with a counselor to schedule classes for next year, he must send an email along with a picture of the registration paper and list of desired classes. Scholarship applications are digitally uploaded to page too. Students may take a photo and email it to Lynn Garrett at Direct scholarship questions go to CHS Counselors Amanda Chambers or Bridget Gordon-Johnson. AP teachers will be pushing out information from the College Board to help students prepare for tests. Video and phone appointments may be made by going to Schedule a Google Meet Appointment Here: and typing in the counselor’s last name after the backslash. Also, send an email to CHS Counselors Amanda Chambers, Susan Grunert, Nicole Hendee, Fawn Lewis, Cynthia Reyes, Monica Weaver, or Bridget Gordon-Johnson by typing in the first initial of her name, spelling out the last and adding to let them know an appointment is desired. The same goes for Safe School Professionals are Kelly Edmundson, Erik Tedrowe, Rob Olivas, or bilingual and Spanish SSP Alejandra Ayala-Ayala.


CHS Student of the Week is Pru Knox, a senior. According to her nominating Language Arts teacher, Cheryl Macy, “Pru is a rockstar; she has already put together her Senior Project portfolio; she is always ahead of the game on assignments, and she takes pride in doing quality work.” Macy went on to say, “Pru is a fantastic student who takes complete ownership of her education, works hard, completes work early, and strives for quality, and she does all this while juggling getting her CNA license and working at a residential care facility.” “Her lead teacher for her EDU internship raves about how great Pru is with the students in the autism room; In short, she is a great student” Macy added. Congratulations to Pru Knox for continued work in the midst of a worldwide pandemic.

Phil Brady is an English teacher at CHS.


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